Pakistan HC allowed travel for Pak, India T20 clash
KOLKATA: Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit was granted a visa to travel to Kolkata for a World T20 stand off between Pakistan and India scheduled for March 19, ANI reported. The news agency quoted Basit saying, "I'm glad to be here but somewhat sad that my colleagues who wanted to come could not come."
Basit was among five Pakistani diplomats who were earlier barred from travelling to Kolkata for the cricket match. It is unclear whether the other diplomats were allowed to travel for the match or not. A total of 17 applications were submitted by diplomats and officials, including the Pakistani High Commissioner, but only one diplomat had been allowed to watch the Pakistan-Bangladesh match on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Manzoor Ali Memon had said.
"Even that diplomat was unable to watch the match, as it is not possible to reach Kolkata in such a short time," he said. Following the incident, Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Deputy High Commissioner of India J.P. Singh. Indian diplomat had assured officials that Pakistan's reaction would be conveyed to Indian authorities in New Delhi. The match between Pakistan and India, which was first scheduled at Dharamsala, was moved to Kolkata after security concerns. The Pakistan government then sought a "public guarantee" of security from Indian authorities before it sent players over for the international event. The next day, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, assured 'foolproof security' to the Pakistan team for its match against India in writing. The Pakistani team arrived in India on Saturday evening amid tight security to take part in the World T20 series and will face off against the Indian cricket team in one of the most awaited games of the tournament at Eden Gardens on March 19.